Swara Bhaskar’s open letter to Padmaavat director Sanjay Leela Bhansali on glorification of Sati and Jauhar which deny women the right to live
Known for being outspoken and portraying characters with great strength, actor Swara Bhaskar, has called out director Sanjay Leela Bhansali for glorifying Sati and Jauhar in his film Padmaavat, in an open letter published in The Wire.
The actor who was disappointed by the film’s climax, where Padmavati (played by Deepika Padukone) is shown walking in immense anger and followed by other women to commit self-immolation, Swara said “I felt reduced to a vagina–only” as it made her feel like all the “minor achievements that women and women’s movements have made over the years– like the right to vote, the right to education, equal pay for equal work, maternity leave… all of it was pointless; because we were back to basics.”
Swara said she was hopeful that Bhansali would offer “some sort of a critique” of Sati and Jauhar in the film.
“Your act of thoughtlessly glorifying this misogynistic criminal practice is something you ought to answer for, Sir. As your ticket- buying audience, I have the right to ask you how and why you did this.
“Your cinema particularly is inspiring, evocative and powerful. It can move audiences to emotional highs and lows. It can influence thinking and that, Sir, is why you must be responsible as to what it is you are doing and saying in your film,” she added.
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